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I don’t have even a post-debate roundup this time. As far as I’m concerned, CNN earned an F and all the candidates get an Incomplete.

I get that the cable nets have been dealt a bad hand with these huge debate stages full of people no one has ever heard of. But CNN took a bad hand and turned it into a farce with its constant and aggressive interruptions to keep everyone down to 15 seconds for anything other than an initial question. 15 seconds! Hell, the moderators couldn’t even ask their questions in 15 seconds. The whole thing felt more like a Roman spectacle than a debate among 21st century adults.

High point: Marianne Williamson talking about the “dark psychic force” of Donald Trump’s presidency. She almost won my vote with that.

Best prepared: Elizabeth Warren, who actually knew what the rules were and was prepared to provide very short, compact answers. Of course, as a frontrunner she could probably afford this more than the also-rans.

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We've never been very good at being conservative.

And usually, that serves us well in doing the ambitious, hard-hitting journalism that you turn to Mother Jones for. But it also means we can't afford to come up short when it comes to scratching together the funds it takes to keep our team firing on all cylinders, and the truth is, we finished our budgeting cycle on June 30 about $100,000 short of our online goal.

This is no time to come up short. It's time to fight like hell, as our namesake would tell us to do, for a democracy where minority rule cannot impose an extreme agenda, where facts matter, and where accountability has a chance at the polls and in the press. If you value our reporting and you can right now, please help us dig out of the $100,000 hole we're starting our new budgeting cycle in with an always-needed and always-appreciated donation today.

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